Western Tops East English In PSL Showdown 78-71

24 Jan

Basketball is a game of runs, such was the case when the Western Cowboys and EEVPA Bulldogs squared off on Friday afternoon. Both teams came into the game playing high-level basketball, and each would get significantly better before the game tipped off.

Every year transfer students shake up the basketball landscape. This game featured three of them who all made a huge impact in the game.

For Western, Josh McFolley and Gerald Blackshear both made their season debuts. McFolley struggled in the early going starting the game 0-6 from the field, but his teammates picked it up as Western led 16-15 after one.

The second quarter involved fast paced basketball, and several lead changes. However, EEVPA was able to pull away towards the end of the quarter behind multiple three pointers from guards Kamari Newman and Greg Elliot. The Bulldogs went into the half with a 38-30 lead.

Kamari Newman came out of the locker room with a scoring mindset, as he hit a triple and extended EEVPA’s lead to 13. Despite being down 13 points, Western stuck with it and kept fighting.

“Coach told us we have to slow the game down and take it one possession at a time,” senior Aaron Austin said.

That is exactly what the Cowboys did, chipping away at the Bulldog lead. Their run was sparked behind spectacular three point shooting from Josh McFolley. McFolley made three triples, all of which were from about NBA range.

EEVPA kept battling with Western matching them point for point.  Until the end of the third quarter when the Cowboys were able to grab the 52-21 lead.

Both teams matched each other until Greg Elliot hit a triple from the corner to give EEVPA the 58-57 lead with about six minutes remaining in the game, Western called a timeout. After the time out, Western took the lead and never looked back.  EEVPA would keep it close, but excellent free throw shooting down the stretch from the Cowboys iced the game, and gave them the 78-71 victory.

Josh McFolley scored 21 points. Fellow seniors Gerald Blackshear, and Aaron Austin added superb performances. Blackshear had 14 points and 14 rebounds in his debut, and Austin added 16 points, and stellar defense on Kamari Newman.

“From the time that we walked into the gym, all that was on my mind was guarding Kamari,” Austin added.

For EEVPA, Kamari Newman had 19 points and seven rebounds, while Greg Elliot and Jaylin McFadden added 14 points each.

Both of these teams are expected to make deep runs in the state tournament this March, and each has the firepower to win a state championship.

Contributed by Christian Crittenden (@chris_critt)

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